Anthony Rizzo Took a Little Batting Practice Today (Fingers Crossed)

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Anthony Rizzo Took a Little Batting Practice Today (Fingers Crossed)

Chicago Cubs

The last time Anthony Rizzo took batting practice, it was this past Sunday, after he felt like his balky back had calmed down enough for him to test it out.

Although the session itself went well, Rizzo unfortunately felt like there were still issues on Monday, so he shut it back down and the Cubs had him get an MRI. That MRI confirmed inflammation where a rib went into his left lower back, which was causing the stiffness/flare-ups. That means some more treatment and rest, but also a chance that it would calm itself in time for Rizzo to test things out again soon-ish.

That soon-ish came earlier today:

So there are actually two kinds of BP in there. Rizzo took regular ole BP from a coach, and that’s where you see him taking the full swings. Then Rizzo did “live BP,” which comes against a pitcher (looks like Duane Underwood followed by Dan Winkler, though a little hard to tell). In that session, it appears Rizzo was not swinging. Instead, he was just tracking pitches and bunting.

In other words, today was kind of a middle ground in testing things out with his back, which is both an encouraging sign and also an indication that there’s still some caution there.

Now, like last time, we wait to see how Rizzo’s back responds tomorrow. If it’s all good, there’s a chance you’d see him out there taking real live BP as soon as tomorrow or early in the weekend. That, in turn, would give him a chance to be back in one or two of the upcoming exhibition games before the season opener. Obviously that’s the trajectory you’d love to see.

But both Rizzo and GM Jed Hoyer were clear in their comments that, while everyone recognizes how critical each game is in a 60-game season, the plan is not to push so hard for Opening Day that more of the season later on becomes compromised or put in jeopardy. For today, I like that Rizzo was back out there taking swings and tracking pitches. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.